It has definitely been an impressive run of late, Dredd and Sweeney were firm favourites and I was hoping that Savages wouldn't disappoint.
Chon, (Taylor Kitsch - all is now completely forgiven for John Carter considering Battleship was such fun!) is an Ex U.S Marine and together with life long buddy Ben (Aaron Johnson) A Uni grad turned expert botanist manage between to cultivate the worlds best marijuana through some of the finest Afghanistan seeds and an impressive lab in California. The Duo are cash rich and well established with fingers in most pies including an inside money launderer, a team of ex-Marines ready to step up and be counted if needed and a shared female love of their lives 'O'(phelia) (Blake Lively) who's completely besotted with her two loaded pot growers who also, seemingly have no trouble in sharing either seem to have everything they ever need - until a devilish Mexican cartel - headed by the ever gorgeous Salma Hayek wants a piece of their action, their product and their customer stream.
Its an easy "No" from our boys who would prefer the easy life but with a history of not being said No too, Hayek kidnaps 'O' and forces the boys to deliver their goods.
There are plenty of twists and turns in this with Travolta playing the Drug Cop with almost the whole cast in his pocket and plays both Cop, Snitch and Informant. Then there is the brilliant Benicio Del Toro - Hayeks man on the ground in California who's job it is to make the unwanted people dissapear, mostly with a combination of Axes and Chainsaws but who's role as baby sitter to the kidnapped 'O' is one he seems to reluctantly take on - coming across brilliantly as the disgruntled yet apologetic lap dog to Salma Hayek.
That's the main story - obviously the boys set about trying to get their girlfriend back in one piece and I'm sure I've already missed out a few key plot pointers but If I give too much away you wont bother to see it and its little movies like this with fab casts that sometimes slip under the radar in the wake of recent blockbusters but I totally loved this movie.
Del Toro and Hayek play Mexican bad asses like no other and its nice that towards the end you do see a bit of the softer side of Hayek, whereas at the same time - a seemingly playful Del Toro shows his true colours. The lads are great - Kitsch and Johnson play their roles as hard-ass Marine and Science geek all too well and in a world where never the twain should meet - they pull off best buddies perfectly. Ophelia is a bohemian beauty - quite hippy in her looks and lifestyle but still carrying off some form of hypnotic romance that both boys have bought into - and her own description of the two lads combined, together making the perfect boyfriend is quite a nice touch.
Travolta was in my mind a level below - anyone could have played this part and I felt he was just there to add some Hollywood clout, rather than talent.
The idea is pretty good - the cast is well thought out and there's enough guns and shooting to keep the die-hard action nuts happy while at the same time carrying a romantic back story to keep those less savage happy.
In the run up to James Bond, Skyfall we need a warm -up movie to get our juices flowing and this is quite a fitting way to say goodbye to those hot summer days and hello to those cold autumn nights where the Cinema makes for a welcoming retreat!